MDG-relevant ICT investments have grown significantly in recent years. As noted by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ICT has the power to ?unlock? doors in education. The irony, however, is that ICT may also lead, literally, to ?locked? doors, as school directors try to ensure the security of equipment from one day to the
next. While there is clearly much promise in the use of ICT for education, there is, at the same time, a widespread ignorance of the specific impact of ICT on education goals and targets.
The issue is not whether ICT is ?good? or ?bad?, rather it is how to choose wisely from the large menu of ICT4E options. Th is is, simply put, a cost-benefi t analysis. Creating a relevant and actionable knowledge base is a first step in trying to help policy makers make effective decisions. Th is is essential in the case of ICT4E for which ? unlike, say, improved literacy primers ? there are high entry costs (such as investments in new infrastructure), significant recurrent costs (maintenance and training), and opportunities for knowledge distortions due to the high profile (and political) aspects of large ICT interventions.
Excerpted from the infoDev publication, Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT in Education Projects: A Handbook for Developing Countries.
- Improvements in education and increased access to
ICT are two prominent objectives of the internationally
supported Millennium Development Goals.
- Much hope has been invested in the expanded use of ICTs for education (ICT4E), but there is also a well known ignorance of the consequences or impact of ICTs on education goals and targets.
- A relevant and credible knowledge base is essential to helping policy makers make effective decisions about ICT4E.
- This handbook presents a conceptual framework that takes into account not only a variety of broad development concerns, but also the many contextsensitive issues related to ICT4E.
- A stronger knowledge base through improved monitoring and evaluation is likely to lead to increased support for ICT4E innovations and investments.